The Gateless Gate/Joshu Washes the Bowl

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
The Gateless Gate  (1228)  by Mumon, translated by
Nyogen Senzaki and Paul Reps
7. Joshu Washes the Bowl
Koan number 7 out of 49 in this work (published 1228, translated 1934)

A monk told Joshu: "I have just entered the monastery. Please teach me."

Joshu asked: "Have you eaten your rice porridge?"

The monk replied: "I have eaten."

Joshu said: "Then you had better wash your bowl."

At that moment the monk was enlightened.

Mumon’s comment: Joshu is the man who opens his mouth and shows his heart. I doubt if this monk really saw Joshu's heart. I hope he did not mistake the bell for a pitcher.
It is too clear and so it is hard to see.
A dunce once searched for a fire with a lighted lantern.
Had he known what fire was,
He could have cooked his rice much sooner.